I recently sat down with Andrew Poulos, EA, ABA, ATP, of Poulos Accounting & Consulting, Inc., to learn more about how he has leveraged media exposure to improve his practice, what advice and strategies he has for others when it comes to media, and what his new web show is all about.
Bryan Cytron: What outlets do you typically pursue for media exposure, and why?
Andrew Poulos: I started the whole media thing with Help a Reporter Out (HARO) four years ago. It’s my main source. It was a simple way of keeping up with reporters and journalists seeking experts in the field. Then, I would pursue those opportunities and engage them, and participate in those fields. My other source was LinkedIn. I’ve been able to network and connect with media and producers through LinkedIn.
BC: What are your top three strategies for pursuing media exposure?
AP: There are many different strategies for different people in different markets. Atlanta is one of the biggest markets and very competitive, especially for media exposure.
First, develop a plan to build a network. You must lay the groundwork/foundation by connecting with the media. You must connect quickly and efficiently, telling them what you bring to the table, without wasting their time. It’s about what’s in their best interest. I have producers tell me that they are bombarded with more than 1,000 emails a day. Just getting an email back, when you consider this statistic, is exciting, but it takes a lot of time.
Second, once you build your foundation and network with the media, you have to be able to manage the network and keep connecting with them to maximize your opportunities. Make pitches to them consistently.
Third, take the connections and capitalize by turning it into an investment for your time, with sweat equity. You must be seen and heard.
BC: What does all this do for your practice?
AP: I use media opportunities to build my brand. Being in a major market, the tax profession and tax preparers are very competitive and on every street corner. My work in gaining media appearances makes it easier for me to pitch clients and makes it easier for clients to find me. It’s not about the fees or me working so hard to pitch clients; they are able to see and hear me better. Instead, it’s all about the strategy of being able to compete in a different way and not spend so much.
BC: You do a lot of television and radio, in addition to publishing articles and being covered by reporters. What’s the most embarrassing thing that happened to you on camera?
AP: There’s nothing more embarrassing than being on camera, dressed in a suit, with my body burning up and on camera, and not being able to wipe the sweat off my face.
BC: You have a web show coming up. Tell us about it.
AP: The show is going to be on the Financial Smarts Network – my own invention. We are launching an online TV show to stream live every week that will air on the same day online on a website we are building for the show. It will cover all sorts of business topics, from the economy, to politics, taxes and entrepreneurship. The long-term goal is to build a full network or platform of different shows, including shows about finance, technology, doctors and social topics. We plan to have the show launch sometime in mid-January.
BC: What’s your advice to tax professionals who are doing no media work right now or not putting forth the effort? What do you say to somebody who really shies away from media attention or who may be an introvert by nature?
AP: I used to be one of those people. The way that I am today is not the way I was 10 or 15 years ago, or even 22 years ago out of college. It’s never too late to get started, but you have to be able to get out of your comfort zone, whether it’s media or anything else in life.
Media isn’t for everyone, but if it’s something you feel you might be good at, you have to take the plunge and pursue the opportunity. No one was born to do media, so you have to just do it. No matter what your passion or dreams are in life, they won’t come to fruition unless you really pursue them, even if you are an introvert.
BC: What’s the one media gig you are most proud of, and why?
AP: My first-ever gig of getting on Fox National News … Fox calling me, seeking me out and inviting me on The Willis Report Show Live has got to be on top of the list. It was very exciting, but also nerve-racking because once I found out that it was live on national news, there was a lot of pressure to be effective and pull it off. There were no second chances and I knew it had to go well to get media opportunities in the future.
Editor’s note: Visit Andrew Poulos’ media relations webpage for examples of his media appearances.